Someone sent me this, and I think it makes a great point.
“Winter Exercise for Seniors (good for younger beginners also)
Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 5-lb potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax. Each day, you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks. Then 50-lb potato sacks. Eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I’m at this level)
After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.”
He got me.
I was thinking about this several years ago with my family on a ski vacation in Colorado. Young nimble guys and girls on snowboards were skipping and sailing effortlessly though the air all around us. Then I donned my skis and plowed down the mountain with the grace of a rhinoceros. I felt frustrated that I couldn’t glide across the slopes like those talented snowboarders. I had to remind myself, “Hey, I’m from Monroe, Louisiana. These guys probably live up here and do this every day. But they had to start somewhere. Surely at some point they were as awkward as me.”
The only way to get good at something is to start where you are. It’s true of lifting potatoes. It’s true of skiing. And it’s true of the Christian life.
Sometimes we describe the spiritual life as if you have to start out as an expert. This is especially true when it comes to sharing your faith. Most people feel about as comfortable telling others about Jesus as I do sliding down a mountain covered in snow.
Relax. You don’t have to be a pro. Just start where you are. Billy Graham didn’t start as Billy Graham. He started as a young, awkward Christian trying to be faithful in small ways. In time God transformed his availability into ability. He’ll do that with you too.
Be who you are, and start where you are. God will take care of the rest.